Hazardous Materials Regulations: Know everything now! Or PAY up!

Transportation, Logistics and the Law
Transportation, Logistics and the Law -by William J. Augello, ESQ.
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  • Are you aware of the latest classification system defined and regulated by DOT?
  • Do you know how to comply with the federal hazardous materials regulations?
  • How do you know if you are dealing with or transporting hazardous materials?
  • Do you sometime pay heavy penalties for transportation of materials?
If the answer is “NO”, then this is the right time to make yourself aware about the hazardous materials regulations before it starts making an impact on your business and before you start paying heavy penalties for transportation.


Most of the shippers are unaware of the federal hazardous materials regulations that govern the movement and transportation of materials. The majority of shippers realize the transportation laws’ importance only when they are faced with heavy penalties due to non-compliance, because most of the times, shippers are not even aware that they are the offerers of hazardous materials. Many of them believe that as long as they don’t manufacture hazardous materials, they are not regulated.

You may be paying heavy penalties for non-compliance and the penalties could quickly have disastrous effects on your business if not handled effectively. Alarming, isn’t it? However, these penalties can easily be avoided in future if you know and comply with latest rules and regulations defined and regulated by DOT for hazardous materials transportation.


Dealing with hazardous materials

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) defines hazardous materials as a substance or material that the Secretary of Transportation has determined is capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety and property when transported in commerce. Common hazardous materials that are taken for granted include: paint, perfume, fork lift propane, bleach, fertilizers and many more, which is must for every transportation professional to know in order to avoid penalties for non-compliance. Under the law, both shipper and carrier alike are responsible for declaring the hazardous nature of the materials they offer and transport, though shippers have somewhat different responsibilities than carriers.

Penalties for non-compliance

Penalties for non-compliance include civil and criminal penalties and could reach an individual in the company as well as the company. For an undeclared shipment, there could be twenty or more administrative infractions that could total $40,000 or more. DOT is authorized to issue injunction orders prohibiting future shipments. Keeping oneself updated with changes in transport law is a must for every transportation professional. Hence, every shipper should be well-aware of the many responsibilities it has under the law with the preparation and tendering of materials for shipments. Gaining an awareness of the enormous responsibilities of the transportation professional with respect to recognition of and correct preparation of hazardous materials for transportation is but a small step in ensuring the success of your organization and avoiding future penalties.

Mr. William J. Augello’s text “Transportation, Logistics and the Law” is the only text covering the laws, regulations and court decisions governing transportation and logistics in the present deregulated scenario under one single cover. This pioneering work by William Augello has become the best source of information for the transportation and logistics industry. It focuses on the problem areas that have resulted in disputes and litigation and suggesting how these pitfalls can be avoided. Readers will find valuable materials in new sections on cargo insurance, broker liability, third party suits against shippers, consignees, carriers and intermediaries arising from accidents in transit, new cargo seal rules, etc..

To know more about the latest federal hazardous materials regulations defined by DOT and to order the text online, please click here